Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

An appropriate gift

A reader asks:

My dear, dear friends (they are like my
children to me) lost their 14month old son almost a year ago. I'd
like to do something to honor the day for them, but am at a loss as
to what would be meaningful without being painful. Kate is a devout
Catholic, Matt, not so much. This last year has been a terrific
struggle for them. Do you have any suggestions?

I don't think you can do anything that won't be a little painful. Pain goes with grieving and actually I have felt and actually known some other who agree, that as a mother I always want to carry some of that pain with me for my child. Not the deep searing grief when the death first occurs, but subtle mother's sorrow. We commemorate Mary's sorrow twice a year so I think this is a very Catholic thing to do.

I do have some suggestions of things that meant a lot to me.

A little pin or necklace with the baby's birth stone like this one.
You could enroll her child in the Book of Life at the Church of the Holy Innocents. (That REALLY meant a lot to me!)

A friend from AOL sent me Kimberly Hahn's book (see my side bar) LIfe Giving Love. Mrs. Hahn lost several children to miscarriage and stillbirth, but her perspective on the life of a lost child was very comforting to me.

This Mother's Manual also has a lot of prayers in it, but particularly helpful are the ones for the death of a child. I carry this one around in my purse even now.

You could also make her a rosary or have one made for her. My sister-in-law made one for me with purple hearts for sorrow. I will treasure it forever.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? Please share them.

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